A List Of Canadian Cities That Spend The Most Money On Rent - MTL Blog

A List Of Canadian Cities That Spend The Most Money On Rent

This might surprise you.

A classic piece of financial advice states that you should not spend more than 25% of your monthly income (before tax) on rent. 

READ ALSO: Montreal's Beaver Lake Might Be Turned Into A Massive Swimming Pool

So, for example, if you're bringing in $2,000 a month before tax, you should be spending about $500 of that on rent. Simple enough.

Well, it seems that this is no longer the norm. Many Canadians are spending upwards of 30% of their monthly pre-tax income on rent. 

In a similar trend, people aren't really buying houses anymore. Statistics Canada showed that homeowners went from 69% in 2011 to 67.8%  in 2016.

Now for the good stuff. On average Canadians are paying $1000 a month on rent. But the data varies quite a bit across provinces:

  • Alberta: $1,279
  • Northwest Territories: $1,191
  • British Columbia: $1,148
  • Ontario: $1,109
  • Yukon: $1,040
  • Saskatchewan: $1,021
  • Nova Scotia: $909
  • Manitoba: $891
  • Newfoundland: $836
  • Prince Edward Island: $817
  • Quebec: $776
  • New Brunswick: $741
  • Nunavut: $737

As you can see, Montreal is on the bottom of the list, at only an average of $776. Compared to Albertans paying a whopping $1,279, we should consider ourselves quite lucky.

Zooming in we can see a more nuanced view of who actually spends the most on rent, not only the provinces where the rent is highest. 

Here is a list of the urban centers with the highest share spending (more than 50% of income) on rent:

  • Greater Toronto, Ont. 
  • Greater Vancouver, B.C. 
  • Ottawa, Ont. 
  • Montreal, Que. 
  • Edmonton, Alta.

In other words, although Montreal-living boasts cheap rent overall, it seems like Montrealers spend a large chunk of their budget on rent. It's a #lifestyle.

Also, It looks like high rents aren't just a problem for large urban centers, but also for municipalities located outside busy metro areas. It's a problem because for many Canadians rent increases, but wages are not increasing proportionally. 


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Michelle Cadieux Born and raised Montrealer. Psychology graduate. Meme-lover.